Inclusive approach to human rights violations critical

Only the adoption of a non-partisan approach to redressing past violations will free Zimbabwe of the terrible legacies of violence says the National Transitional Justice Working Group on Zimbabwe (NTJWG).

Alec Muchadehama
Alec Muchadehama

Addressing journalists in Harare at a function where the Chairperson of the NTJWG, Alec Muchadehama, and his members were introduced to the public, the organisation pledged its commitment to collaborating with transitional justice stakeholders towards building a strong and united front for the attainment of justice for all Zimbabweans.

Muchadehama said his organisation aimed at providing inclusive space for the coordination, sharing of experiences and building of synergies for comprehensive, accountable, victim-centered and participatory transitional justice processes.

“We will be calling on you along all the transitional justice thematic areas so that we can build a strong and united transitional justice front for the attainment of justice and accountability for all Zimbabweans,” said Muchadehama.

The organisation outlined its strategic vision, objectives and strategic goals as shaped by the mandate given to them by the varied transitional justice stakeholders in Zimbabwe.

A culmination of the efforts of many stakeholders dating back to the symposium on Civil Society and Justice in Zimbabwe held in Johannesburg from August 11 to 13 2003, the organisation aims at building a peaceful, just, accountable and democratic society.

“For the government of Zimbabwe, we will be constructive partners, presenting ourselves and our constituency as willing co-builders of institutions and a culture that promotes justice for all,” stated the NTJWG.

Professor Pablo de Greif, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparations and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, at the Second International Conference on Transitional Justice in Zimbabwe, said commissions should not start work from scratch but build on the work that would have been done by civil society over the years.

“We will supply any resources within our capacity on demand and share what the official transitional justice processes may require,” stated the NTJWG, adding that the organisation was not an enemy of the state.

“Together with many state actors, we are partners for justice in accordance with the founding values and principles outlined in section 3 of our new constitution.”

The organisation pledged to act in partnership with government and transitional justice stakeholders in the provision of information and where required, ‘pointing out weaknesses where there are any and insisting that the needs of the victims of past and present violations be prioritized’.

“For the general public, we are open for dialogue and engagement on the way forward for our country to ensure that we together build a peaceful, just, accountable and democratic society,” said the NTJWG.

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